House of Representatives fights back for abortion rights, but will face Republican wall in the Senate

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press event on reproductive rights in front of the Capitol.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The The House of Representatives passed legislation on Friday that would protect access to reproductive health care, including the ability to travel across state lines for an part of Democratic efforts To minimize the consequences of nullifying Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court last month.

The Women’s Health Protection bill would enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade in the law, according to The Washington Post.

The House already approved the same project last year, but it failed to advance in the Senate.

The The House passed the bill again with a vote of 219 to 210, drawing applause from House Democrats. All Republicans voted against the measure.

another bill, The Law to Guarantee the Right of Women to Reproductive Freedom would reaffirm the right of any person seeking an abortion to travel freely across state lines. The House approved that measure by a vote of 223 to 205.

Despite approval in the Democrat-led House, the bills are almost certain to fail in the Senate, where they would require 60 votes or suspension of filibuster rules and a simple majority. Both are unlikely in the face of Republican opposition.

The House debate underscored the deep divide between the two parties, with Democrats warning that Republicans will place more restrictions on women, including a national abortion ban, and Republicans insisting they are protectors of “unborn children.” .

“Neither the courts nor the states nor the politicians should have a say in the ability of women to make their own decisions about their health, their well-being and their future that rests with their loved ones, their doctor and their God,” said the president of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

“If we claim to love freedom, to be a free and just society, we must ensure that this basic human right is finally enshrined in law.”

As further evidence of their opposition to the measure, Republicans falsely renamed the legislation the “Abortions on Demand Until Birth Act,” which is a misrepresentation of the bill, and repeated that claim on the House floor. .

Texas Republican Rep. Mayra Flores said the bill doesn’t align with the values ​​of voters in her district.

“Protecting the voiceless should be a top priority in this House and in every corner of this land,” he said. “As a mother of four beautiful and strong children, I find it hard to believe that there are those who think that defending life is optional, even until the last month of pregnancy.”

In May, Senate Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III blocked the Women’s Health Protection Act, and on Thursday, Sen. James Lankford blocked the Senate version of a bill that would have protected travel to across state lines for those seeking an abortion.

Lankford’s comments came amid intense focus on the case of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped and had to travel to Indiana for an abortion because the procedures are now banned in that state after six months. weeks.

Despite the gloomy future for the bills, Democrats have been under pressure from their base to show they are doing everything they can to preserve abortion rights, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Abortion rights activists have already accused the White House of not taking enough action, particularly since a draft Supreme Court decision was leaked in early May.

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